Book Review | With Fire In Their Blood #20booksofsummer22

Book nineteen of my summer reading challenge and an ultimate blog tour book so be sure to go and have a look at the rest of the stops.

With Fire In Their Blood
Kat Delacorte

When sixteen-year-old Lilly arrives in Castello, she isn’t impressed.
A secluded town in the Italian mountains is not where she saw her last years of high school playing out.

Divided for generations by a brutal clan-family war, the two halves of Castello are kept from destroying each other by the mysterious General, a leader determined to maintain order and ‘purity’. . . whatever the cost.

Lilly falls in with the rebellious Liza, brooding Nico and sensitive Christian, and sparks begin to fly. But in a city where love can lead to ruin, Lilly isn’t sure she can trust anyone — not even herself.

And then she accidentally breaks Castello’s most important rule: when the General’s men come to test your blood, you’d better not be anything more than human…

Perfect for lovers of Chloe Gong, Renée Ahdieh and V.E. Schwab, With Fire in Their Blood is quality YA storytelling at its best by an exciting new voice in YA fantasy. | Goodreads | Amazon

With Fire In Their Blood will be published on the 1st September 2022

I’m not going to lie for me this book took a while to get into, there was something that just wasn’t clicking into place and I’m not sure what it was exactly. I decided to persevere with it because the description was amazing and luckily it eventually all fell into place and I really started to enjoy it.

The setting was fantastic, Castello was a character in itself, very gothic and full of secrets, the fact that it was remote, cut off from the world and some modern conveniences, with old and crumbling buildings, at least on the side that Lilly was staying on, added a wonderful atmosphere and tension to the story. The divide between the two sides was fascinating to read about, seeing how they act around each other when they are forced to spend time together and how the truce is always on a bit of a knife edge kept the suspense up because I couldn’t tell how the characters would react.

As I took a while to get into this one I found that the pace was pretty slow to start with, however, as soon as Lilly has a purpose in the story it really starts to gain momentum and became a captivating fantasy that I got completely swept up in. There was so much action in the second half I did get to the stage that I didn’t want to put the book down because I didn’t want to miss out on what was happening.

Another thing that I both loved and made me a little angry, but in a good way, is the scheming in this book it’s the juicy kind though that makes you question everyone’s motives. As we get further into the story you realise that everyone has their own agenda and are sometimes working both for and against each other which definitely ups the stakes in the story.

Whilst we only get a glimpse of the magic in the book, since people with magic are the enemy of both sides of Castello it’s not something that anyone would want to be open about, what we do see is a little chaotic and uncontrolled and exciting. Especially as it feels like Castello as a place is perhaps in some way responsible for fuelling the magic or drawing it out in people so I’m excited to see how this evolves in the next book.

Even though I think this is more of a plot-driven book there were some very interesting characters, Lilly is our main character, dragged to Castello by her father and plunged into a world entirely different to what she has grown up with. She definitely has to go through a lot in this story and whilst I was rooting for her I felt like I would have liked to know more about her, and had a bit more time to delve further into her relationships with other characters.

There were a lot of budding romances between Lilly and a few of the characters and whilst I was glad of how easily they all fit into the story, it all seemed a bit too rushed for me to fully get behind any of them. Actually, the person that I felt that she connected with the most was Alex, who was not a love interest, because they spent a lot of time together and built a rapport which was missing from the other relationships.

With Fire In Their Blood has a pretty dramatic ending and leaves us with a lot of uncertainty about what will happen to the characters and how Castello will change after what has happened and I am really looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book, I already know it’s going to be exciting.

Kat Delacorte was eleven years old when her family moved from the United States to a small town in central Italy. She soon began writing stories about her new friends developing superpowers, and she hasn’t looked back since. She graduated with a BA in History from Columbia University, and lives in Venice, Italy.

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